by Kung Fu Zu 6/10/15
I am a person who loves books. Not just the contents of books, but the actual appearance, shape and feel of them. I love the smell of a newly printed book, especially one bound in leather, as one can sometimes find in special editions. When I walk into a library, I see a room full of friends and am overcome with a calm sense of well being. These faithful and patient companions accompany me through life at the pace I choose. They don’t become bored if I sit silently and ponder a thing. There is no fidgeting if I stop and go back to re-read a passage.
These friends have a vast amount of experience and are willing to impart this to me without asking anything in return. All that is required is for me to take the time and effort to pull one of these pals off the shelf and hold him or her in the palm of my hand.
Some of these friends will disappoint me, yet I can avoid them in future without any fear of reproach. Others will surpass anything I expected and take me to places never before imagined. And they will do this for me over and over and over again. Yet they never express dissatisfaction or a feeling of abuse.
If I am clever, all of life’s perils and the multitude of humanity’s mistakes are there for me to see. The lessons of life are there to be learned without having to suffer the consequences others have endured. Of course, no one escapes all of life’s blunders, but if I have an open mind and am paying attention, many problems can be avoided by listening to my books.
Parents die, siblings and friends may grow distant and difficult to reach, but books are a constant and at my beck and call. I am required only to open the front leaf and start reading.
In the end, books are an eternal record of those who came before. They are part of the panoply of humanity. Whether in quarto, octavo or today’s Kindle, they are personal fragments of human experience which others have left behind for one to enjoy and profit from. Whether or not one does so, depends entirely upon one’s self. • (2507 views)